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Heart-to-Heart: Volume II

The Life Section’s Love Columnists answer burning relationship questions submitted by the University’s student body

<p>Ask all of your burning (love) questions with our Love Connection writers</p>

Ask all of your burning (love) questions with our Love Connection writers

1. How do I get a girl’s attention?

I get it — at a school of over 20,000 students, you might be stuck asking yourself “But how do I get them to notice me?” Unfortunately, there is no easy answer. Perhaps your crush is three rows in front and four chairs to the left of you in your 300-person lecture and has never seen you before. Or maybe the person of your dreams got off the bus two stops before you worked up the courage to say hello. The bottom line is, while there might be a lot of fish in the sea at a school such as the University, there’s a lot of competition too. So the question stands, how do you get someone to notice you? 

You’ll hear a lot of different advice on what to do. Some will tell you to play it cool — that the key to pique someone’s interest is to act like you don’t care, that it’s the chase that people enjoy. Others will encourage you to learn their likes and interests, or to stalk their Spotify profile before a first date so that they compliment your super awesome music taste. I would argue that neither of these options are particularly enticing. We tend to look outwards — attempting to guess what others want from us rather than examining ourselves to find the best we have to offer. Instead of trying to be the person you think that girl you saw at the bar last night wants, try to be the best person you can be and let the world work out the rest. 

The important thing here is to play to your strengths. Nothing catches the attention of a potential partner quite like someone who is authentic, confident in their own identity and wants to share what makes them unique with a partner. If you approach these situations openly and honestly, you might find you have more in common than you think, or perhaps you’ll catch their attention with something new and different and entirely you. Don’t sacrifice what makes you excitingly individualistic in the chase of approval, as this could lead to a relationship in which you feel suppressed and unfulfilled. You shouldn’t fear bonding over differences in an effort to seem compatible or similar! If you take the time to really get to know someone, you might also leave with a handful of new interests and hobbies you wouldn’t have discovered on your own. 

The parting advice is this — be authentic to yourself and take initiative to get to know what makes them authentic too. Take the time to get to know them and let things happen naturally. Be confident and trust in the fact that all you have to offer will be eye-catchingly irresistible to the person whose attention will truly make you happy. 

2. How do you remain hopeful about love when you’re a rising fourth year that’s never dated or even really come close to having that connection with someone? 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you grew up surrounded by pressure when it comes to dating. If your experience has been anything like mine, you’ve likely been unable to escape the influence of expectations projected onto your love life and felt as though you were inexplicably falling behind. The good news is that you’re not! There is no timeline for these sorts of things, even if your peers, social media and certain overdramatic HBO TV shows that cast 30-year-olds as high schoolers make you feel otherwise. There is no right time for dating, but even still, it can be frustrating to lack experience when you feel like you’re ready. So what can you do? 

For starters, remind yourself that dating is not a competition, a race or a checklist to complete. If you are feeling hopeless by your prospects as a rising fourth year, remind yourself that you have lived only a small fraction of your life. You have yet to graduate, to settle down somewhere and start your adult life in earnest. You can go and do and be whatever you want — the fact that you have not found a connection in the isolated bubble of the University is far from a death sentence for your love life. 

And yet, I can picture you rolling your eyes as you read this. After all, why should you believe me? Perhaps some statistics would be more convincing. Less than 20 percent of people on average meet their future spouse in school and that includes both high school and college sweethearts. Twenty-two percent meet on dating apps, 19 percent meet through mutual friends, 13 percent meet at work and another 11 percent meet at a social event like a bar or party. All that’s to say, if you haven’t hit it off at school, no worries – there’s still plenty of options for your very own meet-cute. When you look at the numbers this way, it’s hardly fair to fret about being in the vast majority! 

There’s also an upside to aging. Think about how mature you are now, compared to you from a year ago, and to you a year before that. The skills that we gain from socializing — whether with friends or family, in class or in the workplace, on blind dates or over dating apps — are all skills that make us clearer, stronger and more respectful communicators as well as enhance our ability to interact with other individuals platonically or romantically. The older you get and the more you learn about yourself and how you relate to others, the better equipped you will be to function in a relationship and find contentment with a partner when that lucky someone comes your way. 

Sometimes, we find ourselves to be luckiest when we stop looking in the first place. So next time you find yourself questioning your capability for connection, try to remind yourself that there’s no such thing as right or wrong timing — only what feels good and natural when you stumble upon it. 

Heart-to-Heart is a regular column written by Life columnists Katherine Schwartz and Jenna Onetto. To submit a question, fill out this form and our columnists will do their best to address it in an upcoming issue.


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